Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review - Supernatural Freak by Louisa Klein

Supernatural Freak (Supernatural Freak, #1)Supernatural Freak by Louisa Klein
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
ebook185 pages
Published January 30th 2013 (first published August 9th 2012)
Source: Author for review

'When paranormal expert Robyn Wise is offered an outrageous sum of money to cure a boy who is turning into a dead tree, she's very sceptical. A politician ready to pay that much to make his son stop growing branches instead of hair? Come on! She's more likely to be abducted by aliens. This is a trap. Or much worse. And, of course, it's much worse.

The child is turning into a dark portal, created by a powerful entity determined to absorb Fairyland's power. This means that not only queen Titania and her court are in danger, but the very balance of the magic fluxes.

Robyn'd rather stick a pencil in her own eye but, to learn how to destroy the portal, she has to sneak into the Wizardry Council, a place full of wizards who are hiding something—though it’s certainly not their dislike of her.

There, she discovers a terrible secret that could help to overthrow Fairyland's enemies for good, but puts her in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, and not as a bystander, but as the main target.'

My Thoughts:
When I think about how I felt when reading Supernatural Freak, the first word that comes to mind is confused.

In my opinion there was just way too much going on at once in this book for it to be enjoyable. It's like the author tried to be impressive and fit in as many supernatural beings as possible in one story and because of this it just didn't seem to gel together and was just plain confusing to try and keep track of who was who and what was actually going on.

Unfortunately, I felt the writing was very disjointed and it also lacked some serious editing. I also didn't feel a connection with any of the characters due to none of them being fleshed out enough for me to really get to know them.

This story would have benefited a lot more by being made into a longer book or by having some of the characters left out and not introduced until future instalments. If this had been the case the world could have been embellished upon a lot more and the story most likely would have made a lot more sense and been more pleasurable to read.

I must admit I was very glad to finish this book and am definitely not planning to read the sequel.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review - Eyeshot by Taylor Adams

EyeshotEyeshot by Taylor Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published August 2014 by Joffe Books (first published January 1st 2014)
Source: Own copy

'James and Elle Eversman are a young couple travelling through the Mojave desert on their way to a new life. When their car mysteriously breaks down they are stranded in the middle of nowhere without much water and no cell-phone reception.

A mile away a deadly sniper has them in his cross-hairs. They are pinned down behind their broken-down car, surrounded by open ground in all directions. There’s nowhere to run and no one to help them. How can they possibly survive?

With relentless tension, razor-sharp prose, and a surprising dose of dark humor, EYESHOT will keep you gripped till its stunning conclusion.'

My Thoughts:
Eyeshot seriously has to be one of the best and most riveting books that I have read in a long time. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the word go and I found it practically impossible to put down.

This book would make an excellent movie in my opinion. It was amazing how the author managed to make such a thrilling read that stayed interesting in a situation where the scenery and characters didn't change for over 95% of the book.

To be honest, there were some developments in the plot that were a bit eyebrow raising and kind of far-fetched but to me that's the whole point of reading sometimes, to escape from reality and be entertained by a book. None of these developments took away from the flow of the story in any way and just made you want to keep turning the pages even more to see what could possibly happen next.

I really felt for the main characters, James and Elle, and found myself quite emotionally invested in their wellbeing by the end of the book. They were a very likeable and believable couple and after I finished reading this book I found myself stopping and wondering what would I do if my husband and I were ever faced with a similar situation.

If you are a fan of a good thriller that pulls no punches and moves at a rapid pace, I totally recommend giving this book a go.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Showcase - Drop Dead Punk by Rich Zahradnik

Drop Dead Punk

by Rich Zahradnik

on Tour July 2015


Coleridge Taylor is searching for his next scoop on the police beat. The Messenger-Telegram reporter has a lot to choose from on the crime-ridden streets of New York City in 1975. One story outside his beat is grabbing all the front page glory: New York teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, and President Ford just told the city, as the Daily News so aptly puts it, "Drop Dead." Taylor's situation is nearly as desperate. His home is a borrowed dry-docked houseboat, his newspaper may also be on the way out, and his drunk father keeps getting arrested.
A source sends Taylor down to Alphabet City, hang-out of the punks who gravitate to the rock club CBGB. There he finds the bloody fallout from a mugging. Two dead bodies: a punk named Johnny Mort and a cop named Robert Dodd. Each looks too messed up to have killed the other. Taylor starts asking around. The punk was a good kid, the peace-loving guardian angel of the neighborhood's stray dogs. What led him to mug a woman at gunpoint? And why is Officer Samantha Callahan being accused of leaving her partner to die, even though she insists the police radio misled her? It's hard enough being a female in the NYPD only five years after women were assigned to patrol. Now the department wants to throw her to the wolves. That's not going to happen, not if Taylor can help it. As he falls for Samantha--a beautiful, dedicated second-generation cop--he realizes he's too close to his story. Officer Callahan is a target, and Taylor's standing between her and some mighty big guns.
Drop Dead Punk is book 2 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Series: Book 2 in the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series.
Published by: Camel Press,
Publication Date: ~ Aug. 15, 2015
Number of Pages: 254
ISBN: 978-1603812092
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The great headlines of other newspapers were always to be despised. Not today.
The three ancient copy editors were on their feet, with Copydesk Chief Milt Corman in the middle. Taylor stopped his walk through the newsroom to find out why. If someone had made a mistake, it must be a colossal one to get those fat asses out of their seats. He looked over Corman’s shoulder. The copy chief held the Daily News. It was that day’s edition, Oct. 30, 1975. The 144-point front-page headline screamed up from the page.

Corman rattled the paper violently. “That’s a work of art. Tells the whole story in five words. He gave the city the finger yesterday.”
Jack Miller, one of the other old farts, moved back to his seat. You could only expect him to stand for so long. He settled into his chair for another day of slashing copy. “What do you expect from our unelected president? Veepee to Nixon. Goddamned pardoned Robert E. Lee two months ago.”
“Didn’t pardon him. Gave him back his citizenship.”
“Same thing. The barbarians are running the country and now they’re at our gates. We’re the biggest, most important city on the planet, and he’s going to leave us hanging to get himself actually elected to the job.”
Corman flipped open the paper to the Ford speech story across pages four and five. “Just listen to this bullshit. ‘I am prepared to veto any bill that has as its purpose a Federal bailout of New York City to prevent a default.’ He blathers on about using the uniform bankruptcy laws. On and on and on. How do you police the streets and pick up garbage under the uniform bankruptcy laws? A Federal judge trying to run the whole damn city? Chaos.”
“Ford’s from Grand Rapids.” Miller shook his big round head. “He doesn’t know from anything about this place. He’s talking to all the flatlanders—a nation that hates us.”
“Will you listen to this at the end? ‘If we go on spending more than we have, providing more benefits and more services than we can pay for, then a day of reckoning will come to Washington and the whole country just as it has to New York City. When that day of reckoning comes, who will bail out the United States of America?’ He’ll kill this city to keep his job.” Corman looked from the paper to Taylor. “You’re the crime reporter. Why don’t you go after this? Write the story about the man who murdered New York.”
Taylor laughed. “You can’t kill New York.”
“Rome fell.”
“Rome wasn’t New York. You know this is the same political bullshit. Made up numbers and budget magic and threats from Washington. New York will still be here long after. It’s a great headline, though. You guys should try writing ’em like that.”
He left the horseshoe copy desk before they could protest that wasn’t the style of the New York Messenger-Telegram. He knew all too well the three of them would kill to be headline writers at the Daily News. That paper wasn’t perpetually on the verge of failing like the MT.
Taylor gave New York’s financial crisis about thirty seconds more thought as he wound his way around the maze of the newsroom. To him, the crisis was background noise. The city had become a dark place since the Sixties decided to end early, round about 1968. Crime lurked in the darkness, and he covered crime. He was too busy with New York’s growth industry to pay attention to the mayor’s budget problems.
Heroin everywhere.
Corruption in the police department.
Buildings in the South Bronx torched by the block.
Those were the stories he went after, not failed bond sales and blabbering politicos. Problem was the damn financial story had pushed everything else off the MT’s front page. Taylor hadn’t had a decent story out there in three weeks. He needed the quick hit of a page one byline, needed it particularly bad this morning. The cops had called him at home last night. Not about a story this time. They’d arrested his father, reeling drunk in his underwear outside his apartment building. Taylor had been up until three a.m. dealing with that mess. A good story—a good story that actually got decent play—and a few beers after to celebrate. Now that would pick him up. For a day or two at least.
Make the calls. Someone’s got to have something. Now that Ford’s had his say, there must be room on page one.
He’d almost slipped past the city desk when Worth called out his name. Taylor tried to pretend he hadn’t heard and kept going, but Worth raised his high-pitched voice and just about yelled. Taylor turned and went back to the pristine maple-topped desk of City Editor Bradford J. Worth, Jr.
“I’ve got an assignment for you.”
That was always bad news. “Haven’t made my calls yet.”
“Doesn’t matter. Need you down at City Hall.”
Taylor brightened. Crime at City Hall. A murder? That would be big.
“What’s the story?” He sounded enthusiastic. He shouldn’t have.
“You’re to go to the pressroom and wait for announcements. Glockman called in sick.”
“C’mon, Worth. Not babysitting. You’ve got three other City Hall reporters.” Who’ve owned the front page for weeks.
“They’re all very busy pursuing the most important story in this city’s history. Your job is to sit at our desk in the pressroom and wait for the mayor to issue a statement on Ford’s speech. Or the deputy mayor. Or a sanitation worker. Or a cleaning lady. Anybody says anything, you phone it in. Rumor is they’re working on using city pension funds.”
Worth’s phone rang, and he picked up. “Yeah, I’m sending Taylor down. No, he’ll do for now.” He set the receiver lightly on its hook. “You’ve been down in the dumps since your friend Laura left us. Was it her going or the fact she got a job at the New York Times? Because you’ll never get there, not with the way you dodge the biggest stories.”
“Hey, you and I are both still here.”
Worth frowned. Ambition rose off the man like an odor as strong as the cologne he wore. He’d made city editor at thirty without ever working as a reporter. Everyone knew he wanted more, and to him, more meant the New York Times. He’d almost been as upset as Taylor when Laura Wheeler announced she had the gig, and Worth wasn’t the one in love with Laura. He had been sure he was leaving next.
“Both here, but I’m the one doing his job. Now get to City Hall.”
“You have to be able to find someone else.” Exasperation through grit teeth. “Crime is big for this paper.”
“I decide what’s big.” He picked up the phone, dialed an inside extension, and showed Taylor his back.
Sitting at City Hall waiting for a press release was the perfect way to ruin Taylor’s day, something the city editor liked doing so much it had become a bad habit.
Taylor arrived at his own desk to find the other police reporters gone, probably making their rounds.
The desk that had been Laura’s reminded him of her—of her dark brown eyes, her black hair, her beautiful face. She’d left an aching emptiness inside him. They’d lasted a month after she’d moved to the New York Times, and then she’d broken it off. She said she realized the only thing they had in common was the MT. She hadn’t been mean about it. And she wasn’t wrong. The paper had been their life during the day and their conversation at night. He wondered if it also had to do with his age, 34, and where he was—or wasn’t—in life. He pushed his hand through his short brown hair. He’d even found himself considering his thin, angular face, something he’d never done before. Was that it? Laura was beautiful. Taylor couldn’t think of a word for what he was.
He recently heard she’d started dating a guy on the foreign staff, Derek something. He wondered how old Derek was. Late twenties and optimistic, he guessed, unbowed by life. From a good family too, probably. It was always going to end. So why did it hurt like this?
Truth was Taylor had been living with emptiness for years before he met her. Over that time, he’d gotten used to it, let the job fill his life. Only, having her and losing her made him understand how much he disliked this lonely hole inside.
Really should leave right away.
The black phone in front of him was too much temptation. Worth couldn’t see Taylor from the city desk. He picked up the receiver, pushed the clear plastic button for an outside line, and dialed the number for Sidney Greene at 1 Police Plaza. Greene was perhaps the most discontented, dyspeptic minor civil servant Taylor had ever encountered. He leaked stories not to expose injustice or right a wrong, but to screw his bosses. He simply loved watching them deal with the chaos he created by tipping off Taylor.
“Anything up?”
“Oh, a real shit show. Officer down.”
Taylor flipped open a notebook. Even in the midst of this dark age of drugs, muggings, and homicides, a police officer murdered was still a big story. A page one story. “Where and when?”
“Avenue B and East Eighth, just in from Tompkins Square Park.”
“What happened?”
“That’s all I can do for you. They’re doing the headless chicken dance down here. You’ll be ahead of the others if you get to the scene quick. Not by much, though.”
Taylor left the newsroom for the Lower Eastside. He’d check for press releases at City Hall after visiting the scene of the cop’s murder. Worthless would have his head if he missed even one minor announcement. Screw it. Taylor couldn’t ignore a big story. A real story.
He hustled from the subway across the blocks to the crime scene. The day offered near perfect New York fall weather, with the air crisp and clear, tingling with energy. He unwrapped a stick of Teaberry gum and stuck it in his mouth. The temperature had dropped from yesterday’s high of 70 and would only make it into the mid-fifties today. Jacket weather—Taylor’s favorite. Not so hot he broke into a sweat on a good walk, and cool but not cold—he wasn’t fighting the brutal winds of winter that blasted down the avenues. Easy weather put New Yorkers at ease. He could sense it as he walked. More smiles. Sidewalk trees even showed off muted reds and gold. Taylor knew it was nothing like the color upstate but it would do.
Taylor’s press pass got him inside the cluster of patrol cars guarding the ambulance. A couple of fire engines had also rolled to the scene, which was a dilapidated brownstone with half its windows boarded, a missing door, and a huge hole in the roof. The place was a true Lower Eastside wreck in a neighborhood where hard luck meant you were doing pretty well for yourself.
Taylor climbed the cracked front steps. A “Condemned Building” sign was nailed to the open door. The first floor had few interior walls, only piles of rubble from when the roof had come down, bringing chunks of the next three floors with it. The smell of must mingled with the stink of garbage. Two uniformed and four plainclothes police stood around a uniformed body sprawled across a pile of plaster chunks and wood slats in the middle of what was once probably a living room. Off to the right in the front corner was a second body, guarded by no one.
Seeing an opportunity, Taylor moved closer to the body in the corner. The man, young and apparently startled by death, had taken one shot to the chest and one in the leg. Blood soaked a black T-shirt printed with big white letters Taylor couldn’t read unless he adjusted the man’s leather jacket, which was also covered in blood. The man’s heart must have pumped his life’s blood out in minutes. Faster maybe. His right hand was on his stomach and clutched a green leather purse with a gold chain strap. Taylor knew better than to touch anything. Instead, he leaned in and was met by the iron and musk odor of blood. The top of the man’s hand was tattooed with a spiral pattern, an eye at its center. The fingers were inked with the bones of a skeleton, like an X-ray of what lay beneath the dead man’s skin.
The face was young—twenties, probably early twenties— bony and pale, with a tattoo of a spider web that started below the shirt line and crept up his neck to his chin and right ear. His hair was short and spiky, in the punk style—as was his whole look. Many of them had recently moved into this neighborhood to be near the punk rock club CBGB and the other bars that were the heart of the punk rock scene. Many were squatters.
“Don’t touch nothin’.” A short chunky cop with a gold badge in his belt walked over.
“I’d never do that, Detective.” Taylor rose from his crouch.
“I’m very sorry about the loss of an officer.”
“Yeah, thanks. And who the fuck are you?”
“Taylor with the Messenger-Telegram.” Taylor tapped the laminated pass.
“The Empty, huh? Read it sometimes. At least you’re not the fucking Times. I hate those pricks.”
Five years since the New York Times interviewed Serpico and broke the story of massive corruption in the NYPD, and the paper was still on every cop’s shit list. At the time, Taylor had gone crazy trying to follow the Times’ scoops. He’d admired what the Times had done and hated being behind on such a big story. He didn’t need to tell the detective that, though. It was fine with him if the man liked the Messenger-Telegram. Taylor himself liked cops, the honest kind at least. When he’d started at the paper, police reporters were almost cops themselves. Or adjuncts, at least. They helped the police, publicizing successes, ignoring failures and drinking in the same places. Not anymore. Trust had been lost, and it wasn’t going to be won back anytime soon.
What happened?”
“This jamoke holds up a woman for her purse when she comes up from the subway at Astor Place. Officer Robert Dodd and his partner give chase. The mugger runs across St. Mark’s Place, through the park and into this hole. They exchange shots. Both are killed. At least that’s what we can figure so far.”
“Dodd’s partner?”
“Couldn’t keep up. Poor Dodd was stuck with a meter maid. When little Samantha Callahan gets here, they’re both dead. What’s the point of having broads patrolling if they can’t back you up?” Lights flashed across the detective’s jowly face. He looked out the glassless window at the car pulling up. “Assistant chief. I’ve got to make sense of this for him.”
Taylor jotted down the name on the detective’s plate, R. Trunk. He dug out a business card and handed it to the detective. “Anything more comes up, call me. We take care of cops at the MT.” Laying it on thick never hurt. “Dodd’s a hero. His story should be told right.”
“Yeah, we’ll see. Your paper may not be awful. Doesn’t mean I trust you. Now get out of here. We got work to do.”
Trunk turned as another plainclothesman walked up. “Still haven’t got the kid’s gun.”
Well, find the fucking thing. Assistant chief ’s going to be on us like stink on shit.”
That was odd. If Dodd took out the mugger, the man’s gun would be right here somewhere. It couldn’t have walked away on its own. Taylor put that detail in his notebook. Anything odd always went in the notebook. He walked a wide arc toward the door to get a quick view of the dead officer. Dodd was a complete mess. He had to have been shot in the face. Taylor couldn’t make out the nose, the eyes, anything in the gore and blood. That meant he had to have shot the mugger first.

Author Bio:

authorRich Zahradnik is the author of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series from Camel Press. Last Words is the first novel in the series and was published Oct. 1, 2014. Drop Dead Punk will come out Aug. 15. He was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry. In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New Yorks Center for Fiction. He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was the founding executive producer of, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik also co-founded the weekly newspaper The Peekskill Herald at the age of 25, leading it to seven state press association awards in its first three years. Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches elementary school kids how to publish the online and print newspaper the Colonial Times.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Spotlight - Babette: The Many Loves, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth by Ross Eliot

Babette: The Many Lives, Two Deaths and Double Kidnapping of Dr. Ellsworth
By Ross Eliot

Genre: Memoir, LGBTQ/ Trans Nonfiction, NW History

This narrative begins in 1998 when, in his early twenties, Ross Eliot relocates to Portland, Oregon and eventually the basement pantry of a grand house owned by Dr. Babette Ellsworth, an arcane history professor. 
Her past unfolds in stories, from the 1928 kidnapping in central Washington carried out by a mysterious wealthy French woman, to life in occupied Europe during World War II with the Czarist assassin of Rasputin a frequent houseguest. The professor’s later life experiences in America only create more intrigue, from teenage prostitution to her late-life sex reassignment, involvement with the Catholic Church and connections to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, whose cult perpetrated a notorious 1984 bio-terror attack in Oregon.
Eliot cares for Dr. Ellsworth until her death in 2002 before an entire class of students, however, the shroud covering her story has only partially raised and murkier secrets than ever suspected emerge. Part memoir, part mystery, part history lesson– this true tale binds drama from classic Greek tragedy together with revelations worthy of the most bizarre fiction. From gender and sexuality to religious theory and existential philosophy, it’s an unorthodox love saga between pupil and mentor, yet also for the city of Portland where they live.

Author Info
Ross Eliot is a writer, roofer, auto mechanic, DJ and commercial fisherman based in Portland, Oregon and Sitka, Alaska.  He is best known as publisher and editor of the critically acclaimed counterculture gun politics magazine American Gun Culture Report from 2006-2011 and the current internet journal Occupy the 2nd Amendment.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review - What Comes Around by Ted Bell

What Comes Around (Alexander Hawke, #7.2)What Comes Around by Ted Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 100 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by William Morrow Impulse (first published November 26th 2013)
Source: Publisher for Review

'An esteemed former CIA director dies off the coast of Maine.

Another senior CIA officer is found dead of a "heart attack" in a posh Paris hotel. Counterspy Alex Hawke and his friend Ambrose Congreve think this could be more than coincidence. Hawke discovers that the victims are connected through one man: Spider Hyde, a rogue intelligence officer whose dangerous exploits got him barred from the CIA. Now Spider believes he's been wronged and is out for vengeance-and Alex Hawke is his number-one target.

Hawke's only hope is to lure his deadly enemy into a trap he can't escape-and it's a place Hawke knows better than anyone: his seaside home in Bermuda.

My Thoughts:
This was my first taste of reading anything written by Ted Bell and it was definitely a short and sweet adventure.

Obviously now knowing the character Alex Hawke from any of his previous novels, I was pleasantly surprised at how similar he seemed to be to a James Bond type character but with a bit more grit and less of the suave appeal that Bond has.

As this is only a very short novella, the storyline and action starts pretty much straight away and doesn't really stop until the end. There isn't much room for any 'filler' material and the reader gets a good taste of what is to come in the next instalment in the series.

What I liked about Hawke is that he is a very confident character, but also not without his flaws and Bell doesn't make him the perfect 'think of everything' hero like some others.

After reading What Comes Around I'm definitely interested in going back to the beginning and seeing how these stories begin and how Hawke's character develops along the way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review - Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Nothing Lasts ForeverNothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle, 245 pages
Published December 17th 2012 by Graymalkin Media (first published January 1st 1979)
Source: Netgalley

'This bestseller was the basis for the blockbuster film "Die Hard" starring Bruce Willis.

High atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, an office Christmas party turns into a deadly cage-match between a lone New York City cop and a gang of international terrorists. Every action fan knows it could only be the explosive big-screen blockbuster Die Hard. But before Bruce Willis blew away audiences as unstoppable hero John McClane, author Roderick Thorp knocked out thriller readers with the bestseller that started it all.

A dozen heavily armed terrorists have taken hostages, issued demands, and promised bloodshed all according to plan. But they haven't counted on a death-defying, one-man cavalry with no shoes, no backup, and no intention of going down easily. As hot-headed cops swarm outside, and cold-blooded killers wield machine guns and rocket launchers inside, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between anti-hero and uber-villains. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight to the death. Ho ho ho!

My Thoughts:
My main reason for reading Nothing Lasts Forever was pretty simple. I am a total Die Hard tragic and have seen all of the movies in the franchise more times than I could count. As soon as I discovered that this book was the basis for the first Die Hard movie, I just couldn't resist reading it to see how it compared.

All in all I absolutely loved this book and got to a certain point around three quarters of the way through where I had to be bribed to put it down. You can just so vividly see the majority of the movie playing out in your mind as you read. Aside from a few major differences in character names and plot developments that I think make both the book and movie great individual works in their own right, the two are extremely similar and I was just as out of breath and eager to find out what was going to happen next while reading as I was when I first watched the movie many, many years ago.

The main character, Joe Leland, is definitely a lot more darker than Bruce Willis made John McClane, but that seemed to add to his overall plight a lot more and explain why he felt he had to become a one-man army and save the day.

I am very glad to have read Nothing Lasts Forever now, especially to see where my favourite movie franchise of all time first got its roots. If you are after a play-by-play re-enactment of the film then you may be a little disappointed after reading this book, but if you have an open mind and don't mind seeing this as a story in its own right, then you may be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review - Outback Ghost by Rachael Johns

Outback GhostOutback Ghost by Rachael Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Paperback, 343 pages
Published October 1st 2014 by Harlequin MIRA 
Source: Publisher for Review
'Stella only wanted a holiday… the last thing she expected was a love interest and a possible ghost.

Third-generation farmer Adam Burton has always tried to keep his family together, but twenty years after his little sister went missing from the family farm he’s losing hope. His dad has walked out, his mum is as reclusive as ever and he still blames himself for his sister’s disappearance.

When Stella Reynolds and her young daughter arrive from the big smoke to stay at the holiday cottage on their farm for the summer, Adam is immediately attracted to the beautiful single mum. Although he’s always steered clear of children and doesn’t believe he deserves love or a family of his own, he finds himself spending time with Stella and her young daughter, Heidi, and enjoying it.

As the twenty-year old mystery begins to unravel, Stella wonders if she should take her daughter and run. But doing so is easier said than done, because Stella just might be falling in love with Bunyip Bay and a gorgeous, but hurting, farmer.

From one of Australia’s best loved rural romance authors comes a story of mystery, heartache and hope.

My Thoughts:
Outback Ghost is listed as the final instalment in the Bunyip Bay series after Outback Dreams and Outback Blaze.

For those who have read the first two books you'll already be familiar with the majority of characters from the friendly little Bunyip Bay community and I have to admit that it will be a little sad not to feel a part of this town anymore (unless the rumours are true and Rachael Johns releases a fourth instalment in the series)!

Adam Burton is a young farmer and was kind of my favourite out of all the male characters carried along throughout the books. He seems to be such a nice, likeable and down to earth Aussie guy who wants nothing more out of life except to keep his family farm running while trying to take care of his grieving mother. Adam's younger sister disappeared without a trace when he was only a young boy and the lack of closure to her disappearance has been a huge burden on his whole family for twenty years.

Stella Reynolds decides to come to Bunyip Bay for a month long holiday with her little girl, choosing to stay in the Burton farm-stay accommodation. I found Stella to also be a very likeable character who was easy to relate to. She's obviously had a lot to deal with on her own as a single mother to a daughter with special needs but has developed into a strong and independent person because of it.

I really enjoyed watching the relationship develop between these two characters along with the touch of mystery and the supernatural that pulls the plot forward. This story covers every emotion but still manages to leave the reader content with how it all wraps up in the end.

Rachael Johns writes in a way that seems to flow quite effortlessly, making her books really easy and enjoyable to read. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

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